Halloween Plans/Blogtober Day 29

I’m taking part in The Library Looter & Anniek’s Library Blogtober challenge!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I try to take part in doing a spooky activity every year.

Andy and I love travelling to the pumpkin patch and find some to decorate, and we did just that over the weekend! We found three adorable pumpkins that we’ll certainly decorate before Thursday.

Our adorable pumpkins with our adorable Halloween Peanuts Gang figures!

We also enjoy checking out a show during Halloween weekend, but unfortunately that didn’t pan out for us this year. Next Halloween will definitely be one to check out a show!

Of course, ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ will definitely be watched!

I hope everyone has spooky plans for Halloween!

Murder Mystery/Blogtober Day 22

When it comes to good Murder Mystery stories, this book comes to mind:

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
In this story, Annaleigh sets out to solve the mystery of what might be killing off her sisters one by one. House of Salt and Sorrows is set in House Thaumas out in an island, and is a fairy tale retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses. It has equal parts horror and mystery, as Annaleigh’s journey leads to many shocking twists and turns throughout the book!

Let me know about your favorite Murder Mystery story in the comments!

Characters with Bad Luck/Blogtober Day 15

Characters with lively personalities always make a book enjoyable to read, and that includes those with bad luck!

The following characters have a reputation of bad luck following them:

Deya: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

In the beginning of book, we find Deya casted out of her community due to giving birth to twins. What follows throughout the novel is a string of hardships, and reveals who in Deya’s village shows compassion in times of severe conflict.

Neville Longbottom: Harry Potter series

Neville Longbottom is Harry Potter’s unlucky Gryffindor housemate, at least throughout the first half of the series! Fortunately his misfortunes wane as the books progress.

Mike Hayes: Our Kind of Cruelty

Mike Hayes is only trying to play along with the sensual ‘cat and mouse’ game he and his girlfriend Verity carry on in the long term. It doesn’t matter if she no longer wants to be with him! Our Kind of Cruelty shows Mike getting in one mishap after another, building up to a chilling plot twist!

Note: I’m taking part in The Library Looter & Anniek’s Library Blogtober Challenge.

Blogtober/Spooky TBR (and a comfort read)!

Happy October everyone! This time of year is so special: Autumn is in full swing, and with it comes Blogtober (posting a spooky/Autumn related post all month)!

I got the inspiration by reading The Library Looter & Anniek’s Library Blogtober ideas. While posting every day seems like a challenge, I’m up to the task! I can finally post my Halloween Peanuts characters for as long as I want! (Yes, I know that I can post them any time I want, but showing them during October makes it extra special)!

Along with this comes pairing dark themes and bookish content together, and I also have plenty to share! Here is my TBR pile (along with Trick-or-Treat Snoopy) for the month of October:

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
My name is Meredith ‘Merry’ Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why…

I’ve been wanting to read A Kiss of Shadows forever! I’m a fan of the Anita Blake series, but have yet to dive into the sensual fairie realm Hamilton creates with the Merry Gentry series. Hopefully I can finally make the time to read it!

Keeping Her Close by Carol Ross
The job sounds simple: teach a businessman’s daughter how to stay safe. But former navy SEAL turned bodyguard Kyle Frasier has a personal motive, too. Harper Jansen is his late best friend’s fiancée. Loyalty demands he protect her, not that Harper looks in need of rescuing. In fact, it’s Kyle who needs help—balancing duty with his desire to build a life with the one woman he shouldn’t want…

Keeping Her Close is the designated ‘comfort read’ of the pack…while it doesn’t hold ‘scary’ content, I’m reading it for a blog tour this month. Bring on the light reads!

Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner
In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah’s arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient “Jerusalem maiden.”

Jerusalem Maiden is my local library’s book club pick for October. I’m curious to learn about Esther’s journey to find herself within the confines of duty and social mores!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

I received A Discovery of Witches through a recommendation from a friend and colleague of my poetry therapy community. It has everything I love in stories: witches, a library, and ancient spells. I can’t wait to get to this story!

A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates) Alice must cross the Veil to rescue her friends and stop the Black Knight once and for all. But the deeper she ventures into Wonderland, the more topsy-turvy everything becomes. It’s not until she’s at her wits end that she realizes—Wonderland is trying to save her.
There’s a new player on the board; a poet capable of using Nightmares to not only influence the living but raise the dead. This Poet is looking to claim the Black Queen’s power—and Alice’s budding abilities—as their own.

I’m currently halfway through A Dream So Dark, and so far it’s just as addictive as McKinney’s first installment! I enjoy fairy tell re-tellings with a dark twist!

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

I received Lock Every Door as a Book of the Month club selection back in July. I’m can’t wait to find out if the story lives up to the hype!

I hope everyone is having a restful start to their October!

‘Kingdom Cold’ Trilogy by Brittni Chenelle/Review & Aesthetic Board

I thought of how I’d reacted negatively to meeting Young the night before. How I’d seen him as the chain that would lock me in the castle forever, but the man standing in front of me was different. Each brazen move of his body whispered one thing: predator‘.

I’m happy to be a part of the ‘Kingdom Cold’ trilogy blog tour! Thank you to Shealea and Caffiene Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to review these stories.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved these stories! It’s a tale of an arrange marriage disrupted due to fractured alliances, and mysterious figures with a questionable past. I was immediately drawn to Charlotte’s leadership abilities in the face of strife. Brittini Chenelle beautifully wrote a story with many twists and turns, and I was delighted to find out what would happen next to Charlotte and Prince Young. These two character were brought together through ‘less-than-ideal’ circumstances, and throughout the books we learn how these two characters triumph in the face of great responsibility thrown upon them in such an early age.

If you love a story that’s filled with strong female characters persevering among great conflict, then these books are for you!

About the Author

5 Fast Facts about Brittni Chenelle (from Goodreads):

1) She lives in South Korea.
It’s true. She does most of her updates in the morning or at night to account for the time difference. She also infuses most of her novels with her observations about Korean culture.

2) She’s a Type 1 Diabetic.
She uses an insulin pump for survival and refers to her diabetes as “Beetie” which is what inspired her children’s book “Life with Beetie”. When she wants something from her parents she tells them, “My Beetie hurts.” It’s a trick that has never failed her.

3) She doesn’t really BELIEVE in fiction.
Despite all the; Dragons, Elves, and Magic present in her novel “Involuted the Tale of the Red Ribbon Tree”, Brittni INSISTS that it’s a true story. I wouldn’t normally believe it but when browsing some of her old pictures, you can find pictures of her with a mysterious red ribbon tied to her wrist.

4) She’s OBSESSED with dark chocolate.
She made me put that in and would also like me to inform you (on an unrelated note) that her birthday is in May.

5) She loves video games, anime, and cosplay.
Favorite games: League of Legends, Stardew Valley, Pokemon. Favorite Anime: Avatar the Last Airbender, Your lie in April, Full Metal Alchemist. Cosplay: She once dressed as Korra from Legend of Korra. She’s hoping there will be more brown characters for her to cosplay in the future.

Come check out the rest of the Blog Tour!